This is a natural question that, without fail, is part of every initial conversation I have with a prospect. Ideally, it would come towards the end of a conversation. Realistically, it’s one of the first questions.
Here’s the first part of my answer.
Yes, that may seem wishy-washy. Yes, it may seem like a way to avoid or at least dance around the question. But it’s the truth. The cost of content writing depends on a lot of factors
First, it’s important to realize that a copywriter doesn’t just sit down and start typing. The heavy lifting is done before any actual writing happens.
I need to understand your business, your goals, and most importantly, the needs of your clients. I need to determine what tone will resonate with your audience. In a nutshell, I need to find out what matters most to them.
Words without sound marketing strategy and research behind them are useless. I provide all of the above. And I charge for that.
Let’s take website content as an example. How many pages of content do you need? Approximately how much content will be on each page? For example, the amount of content on an “About” page will be more than you’ll need on your “Contact” page.
Note: You need more than contact information on your “Contact” page. If you don’t have a call-to-action that clearly conveys the one thing you want the visitor to do next and how they’ll benefit from doing that one thing, you’re assuming the visitor already knows. And you know what they say about people who assume. Stepping off the soap box.
Will there be sidebar content? If so, how much? Will there be a slider that needs content or a caption? If so, how many slides?
Do you have a design concept? I need to integrate the content seamlessly into the design.
How much research is required? Should I interview someone? Will you be providing me with information? Usually, I’ll need to do some research even if you provide me with information.
I understand that you may not have the answer to every single one of these questions during our initial conversation. But these are all things that can factor into the cost of content writing.
Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, you won’t find a price list anywhere in this post. Just like a contractor has to come to your home, find out about your project, take measurements and calculate costs, it’s impossible for me to provide a content writing cost without understanding the scope of the project.
As you weigh the cost of content writing, consider this…
Anyone who can give you a price without discussing the project first is not putting enough thought or care into your project. And please don’t force your project into some arbitrary “package” to take advantage of a price point. The only thing that should dictate the parameters of your project is the goal you’ve set out to achieve.
I will say that some copywriters will write a 500-word blog for $25. I am not one of those copywriters. Just like any other product or service, you get what you pay for.
I understand that price may factor into your decision. But if you choose who will develop your company’s marketing message and write your content based on price alone – a decision that will directly impact your bottom line – I would have serious doubts about the viability of your business.
Finally, consider the value of what you’re paying for. Good website content can be repurposed into a good blog post or two, a brochure, parts of a sales presentation, or a bunch of tweets. A good blog can be repurposed into a podcast or video, or serve as the inspiration for a seminar.
Before you jump to the conclusion that cost of content writing is too prohibitive, consider how much mileage you can get out of that content. The value is probably more than what you thought. A lot more.